Exercise Bikes Buying Guide
Exercise bikes offer a great cardiovascular workout for all fitness levels while minimizing the strain on your joints. They also burn serious calories from the comfort of a seated position. With the regular use of an exercise bike, you'll soon discover real health benefits with less pain.
What To Consider When Buying An Exercise Bike
Who will use the exercise bike, and how often?
- If intended for a single user, a lower-end machine may be ideal
- For frequent, multiple users, consider a more robust bike with a heavier flywheel and stable frame
What is your fitness level?
- Beginners will find a basic model with simple controls a great starter bike
- If you have a high fitness level, consider a bike with a heavier flywheel and a variety of preset and custom programs
How much do you want to spend?
By spending more, you may get
- A heavier, smoother and more durable flywheel
- A greater range of resistance
- Better adjustability
- More programs
- Higher weight capacity
- More add-on features (i.e. pulse monitors)
How will you use the bike?
- For simple weight loss or recreational use, a basic model offers adequate features and durability
- For a more rigorous, regular workout plan, choose a model with club-level features and durability
Finding The Right Bike
Three different styles... pick the one that suits you best
Exercise bikes are available in three different designs: upright, recumbent and indoor cycle.
- An upright bike positions the body to mimic the traditional biking experience.
- Recumbent bikes offer larger seats and a semi-reclined body position.
- An indoor cycle positions the body to mimic the traditional biking experience and also provides a performance that closely matches that of a road bike.
Which is better?
It's a matter of personal preference. Choose the style of bike that is more comfortable for you. Each style offers its advantages.
The recumbent bike provides support for the lower back and lumbar region, so it may be a little more comfortable for those with lower back pain. It also offers bucket seats, which can be more comfortable and are more ergonomically correct than the seat on a traditional upright. This type of bike is a great choice because the back support it provides makes getting on and off the bike easy for older adults.
The upright exercise bike is very similar to a traditional bicycle in design and function. The seat is positioned directly above the pedals and has adjustable height. The handlebars can be used to position the body while pedalling. One big advantage with this style of exercise bike is that you can lift your body off the seat and pedal with greater force to simulate hill climbing or sprinting and maximize your workout.
The indoor cycle is also very similar to a traditional bicycle in design and function. However, unlike the upright bike, you can make multiple adjustments to both the seat and the handlebars, which more closely simulates higher-end road bikes. Additionally, the extra heavy flywheel better simulates the experience of riding outdoors.
What features do I need?
Exercise bikes offer a variety of features. The number of programs and a way to monitor your heart rate are two key features that will help you establish which bike will meet your fitness goals.
What is comfortable?
The design of a recumbent bike can determine how comfortable it is, as well as ease of use. Look for a step-through design with an open area in front of the seat to avoid having to step over the unit to sit or leave. Any bike offering multiple adjustment options will provide a great range of motion and comfort for your body. Also, seat size and contour will determine comfort during use. Test various styles for the perfect fit.
What is Indoor Cycle technology?
This is important to prevention of injuries during use. It allows the flywheel to continue rotating when you stop pedalling, thus eliminating any jolt to your joints.